- Jean-Pierre Aulneau
Father Jean-Pierre Aulneau de la Touche, S.J. (
21 April 1705– 8 June 1736) was a Jesuitmissionary priestactive in Canadaand the American Upper Midwest. He is referred to as " Minnesota's Forgotten Martyr."
Jean-Pierre Aulneau was born at his father's chateau at
Moûtiers-sur-le-Hay, Vendée, France. He studied at the minor seminaryof Luçonprior to entering the Jesuit novitiateat Pau in 1720. He spent a number of years as an intructor in La Rochelleand Poitiers. After his Ordinationto the priesthood, he sailed for Canada New Francein 1734.
After a stormy and disease-ridden crossing on Le Ruby, he landed at
Quebec Cityin Canada on August 12, 1734. After recovering his health, he lodged at the Jesuit College in Quebec, preparing for his final examination, which he passed during Lentof 1735.
Black Robe in the Northwest
After receiving an assignment as
chaplain, he set out for Fort St. Charlesin June, 1735. He sailed through the Great Lakesto Fort St. Charleswith Canadian explorer La Vérendrye(Pierre). At the time, Father Aulneau was posted farther west than any other missionary in North America. His letters to his mother in France reveal that he was deathly afraid of being assigned so far away from his Confessor.
The following year Father Aulneau,
Jean Baptiste de La Vérendryeand 19 French-Canadian voyageurswere sent from Fort St. Charles to Fort Michilimackinac. The purpose of the mission was to pick up supplies for an expedition to the Mandans in what is today the North and South Dakota. In addition, the trip would also allow Father Aulneau a last visit to the Confessionalbefore accompanying the explorers. Despite his fears of being so far from any other priest, his letters show a man filled with excitement and zealous to evangelize the Indians.
However, on their first night out they were all massacred by "Prairie Sioux" warriors on a nearby island in
Lake of the Woods. The date was June 8, 1736. The massacre was allegedly in retaliation for La Verendrye's practice of supplying guns to Sioux enemies, especially the Assiniboineand the Cree.
When members of the friendly Cree tribe reported the massacre to La Verendrye, he gave orders for the heads of the 19 voyageurs and the decapitated bodies of Father Aulneau and young La Verendrye to be returned to Fort St. Charles. The bodies of Father Aulneau and young La Verendrye were encased in a rough hewn
coffinand buried beneath the altarof the fortess chapel. The 19 heads were deposited in a nearby trench.
The massacre ended, for a time, the project of a mission to the
Mandans as there was no other priest further west than Fort Michilimackinac. In 1741, Father Claude-Godefroy Coquart, a replacement for Father Aulneau, began his journey west. He would have spent some time at Fort St. Charles and is known to have joined the La Vérendryes at Fort La Reine(presently Portage la Prairie, Manitoba) in 1743. In doing so, Coquart was the first recorded missionary in present-day Manitoba and the first to travel beyond Lake of the Woods, a role which was to have been the task of Father Aulneau.
The letters of Father Aulneau were discovered in his family's possession in 1889 and published in an English translation in 1893. In 1908, a party of
Canadian Jesuits from Saint Boniface, Manitoba, located the site of Fort St. Charles, just inside the territorial watersof the United States, using the letters of La Verendrye and the oral traditionof the OjibweIndians. The bodies of the martyred priest and his companions were reexumed and examined. The remains of Father Aulneau was recognized by the hook from the top of his cassockand the remnants of his rosary, which had been placed at his feet. All human remains and artifacts found at Fort St. Charles, were transferred across the Canadian Border to Saint Boniface, Manitoba, where they remain to this day.
The site of
Fort St. Charlesis currently owned by the Roman Catholic Dioceseof Crookston, Minnesotaand remains a site of pilgrimage. The precise location of "Massacre Island," where Father Aulneau and his companions were murdered by the Sioux, continues to be debated.
*Lund, Duane R. "Lake of the Woods: Earliest Accounts". Nordell Graphic Communications, Staples, Minn.1984
*"The Encyclopedia of Canada", Vol. IV, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948
*"The Aulneau Collection", Edited by Father Arthur Jones, S.J. Published by Saint Mary's College, Montreal, 1893.
* [http://www.archive.org/details/rareaulneaucollect00aulnuoft The Aulneau Collection, Available for Download on "The Internet Archive"]
* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=619 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]
* [http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/transactions/3/verendryes.shtml Manitoba Histoical Society]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Jean-pierre aulneau — (1705 1736) était un prêtre missionnaire jésuite actif au Canada et dans le Minnesota. On le surnomme le martyr oublié du Minnesota. Né à Moutiers sur le Lay dans la Vendée en France le 21 avril 1705, il fit ses études à Luçon et entra chez les… … Wikipédia en Français
Jean-Pierre Aulneau — (1705 1736) était un prêtre missionnaire jésuite actif au Canada et dans le Minnesota. On le surnomme le martyr oublié du Minnesota. Né à Moutiers sur le Lay dans la Vendée en France le 21 avril 1705, il fit ses études à Luçon et entra chez les… … Wikipédia en Français
Aulneau, Jean-Pierre — Jesuit missionary, with La Vérendrye in his western explorations. Murdered by Sioux on an island in the Lake of the Woods, May, 1736 … The makers of Canada
Pierre de Lauzon — (known as Gannenrontié among the Iroquois) (bapt. September 13, 1687, Leignes sur Fontaine, Vienne, France mdash;September 5, 1742, Quebec) was a noted eighteenth century Jesuit missionary in New France. Though sometimes mentioned as Jean, in his … Wikipedia
Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye — (1713 1736), fils aîné de l explorateur et officier Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye. Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye est né le 3 septembre 1713 à l¨ Île Dupas près de Sorel en Nouvelle France. Il est le frère aîné de Pierre Gaultier… … Wikipédia en Français
Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye — (b September 3, 1713 ndash; d June 6, 1736) was the eldest son of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye. He was born at Sorel, New France and he, with three brothers (Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye , François de La Vérendrye), and(Louis … Wikipedia
Pierre de Lauzon — Pierre de Lauzon † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pierre de Lauzon A noted missionary of New France in the eighteenth century, born at Poitiers, 26 September, 1687; died at Quebec, 5 September, 1742. Though sometimes mentioned as Jean, in… … Catholic encyclopedia
Jean Baptiste Gaultier de La Vérendrye — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Gaultier et La Vérendrye. Jean Baptiste de La Vérendrye Naissance 3 septembre& … Wikipédia en Français
Catholic Indian Missions of Canada — Catholic Indian Missions of Canada † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Catholic Indian Missions of Canada The French discoverers of Canada did not fail to impress the aborigines they met with a vague idea of the religion they professed. Thus,… … Catholic encyclopedia
Catholic Indian Missions of the United States — Catholic Indian Missions of the United States † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Catholic Indian Missions of the United States The spiritual welfare of the native tribes of America was a subject of deep concern to the Governments of Catholic… … Catholic encyclopedia